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The Life And Deaths of Rachel Long

Kristine Kathryn Rusch


The fifth time she died, she took the guitar with her. She went down in a haze of smoke and ash, bullets and flames.

And this time, not even the music remained.


***


My mother claims my grandmother was a good Christian woman, but I disagree. The woman I remember spoke of walk-ins and souls too strong to die. She said that she and my grandfather had “unfinished business” and would meet in another life. The year before she died, I asked her what would happen if she didn’t get another life. “I guess I’ll just have to be a haunt, Devon,” she said, “and wait for your granddaddy’s soul to reappear so’s we can settle things in right and proper fashion.”

My grandmother’s beliefs made more sense to me than my mother’s good Christian ones. Perhaps that’s why I’m the one to chronicle Rachel Long’s life and deaths. I’m one of the few with the foundation to understand the entire story.


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